- Dec 15, 2015
I didn't say that. Please post what it is you've experienced. I'm going off what I see and hear. I got attacked once in New Orleans for dancing with a black girl. (By three black guys). I also had a white sheriff in Birmingham, Alabama pull a gun on me because I'm a Jew. Then he slapped me on the head and called me "boy". I don't see racial hostility anything like that happening here. But it is a very good discussion and I think I'd like to hear what you've encountered. Things are changing fast here in both directions, too.
Like most Brazilians, I am mixed race, so hopefully I can give you a perspective that is a little closer to your reality.
First off, let me start saying that like anywhere else in the world, Argentina has its share of wonderful people and of jerks. In that aspect, it is no different than any other place in the planet. You will find Argentines who are extremely compassionate and kind, to the point of sainthood, and Argentines that are such jerks that you will want to punch them in the face, repeatedly. You will also find everything in between. Again, no different than anywhere else.
That being said, racism is an issue in Argentina. It used to be A LOT worse 30 years ago, and the progress the country has made in the issues of race over the past 3 decades is worthy of praise. But, despite all progress, serious issues remain.
Argentina has a long history of endemic and institutionalized racism, that was pretty extreme even by South American standards, from the complete extermination of the Mapuches indians to the systematic ethnic cleansing of the black Argentines in the late 19th century.
Adolf Eichmann and Joseph Mengele did not seek refuge in Argentina by accident, after World War II.
So yes, this country has a lot of baggage, and it will take time until it comes to terms with its history ad identity. Until then, as a non-white person, you will have to learn to deal with it.
Racism in Argentina is very different from the racism you might have seen in the USA or Europe. It is not as openly aggressive or militant as you would see in developed countries. You will not find hooded people burning crosses and doing public lynching. But that is mainly because you will not find many blacks here to begin with, and the brown folks kind of "know their place" and don't disturb the normal social order of things much, so there is little reason for Argentines to get really angry and violent towards them. The racism you will see here is more in the form of scorn, condescension and disdain. Also, their perception of your income, education and nationality will be a factor on how they treat you at first. You are black, right? So here are some simple rules I came up with, based on my observations:
--> If they perceive you as an African:
That is the very bottom of the pole. In general, I think eating shit will probably not be much worse than being in Argentina. Many people will think you are a refugee and you'd receive the level of attention normally given to exotic animals at a zoo.
--> If they perceive you as Dominican/Colombian/Cuban:
Most will assume that you are a maid or part of a cleaning staff at a restaurant/hotel and living in one of the villas. Expect to be treated accordingly, or mostly ignored, as if you were not worthy of their attention. Occasional veiled or not so veiled insults might be thrown at you here and there. No store will deny you service, but the staff will assume that you are not worthy of their attention. You might become invisible to many cabs.
--> If they perceive you as a Brazilian:
In general people will be cordial or indifferent. Depending of where you are in the city, they will assume that you are a tourist and engage in conversation with the goal of selling you something. Very rarely (once a year maybe), some Argentine will try to insult you for being Brazilian, with comments such as "Imagine how rich and powerful Brazil would be if there weren't' so many black people there".
--> If they perceive you as an American:
You are at the top of the totem pole. They will usually keep their racist views to themselves, and in general be very cordial to you. For many, having an American as friend, even if black, is a great status symbol.
In regards of dating:
Sadly, white European beauty standards dominate here. Women with fair skin and straight hair (preferably brown) are greatly favored. Dark skin and black curly hair are viewed as lower social status. While many white Argentine men have fetish for dark women, having sex with one and bringing one home to meet the family are two very different things. Also, the fact that you are American will make things even more difficult, as Argentine men are used to the neurotic/submissive local girls, and most American women do not match that profile.
Does this mean that it will be impossible fr you to find love in Argentina? Not at all. But it does mean that you will need to work harder in the numbers game, in order to meet the right guy.
Hope this helps and good luck on your Argentine adventure.
Thank you for elaborating.